Australian news, and some related international items

Nuclear health effects- Chernobyl’s toll on children – theme for June 19

Chernobyl’s toll of radiation induced deformities in children, August 28, 2015

Fukushima Not Even Close To Being Under Control, Oil Price, By ZeroHedge Sun, 28 June 2015 “……..As an example of how media fails to deal with disaster blowback, here are some Chernobyl facts that have not received enough widespread news coverage: Over one million (1,000,000) people have already died from Chernobyl’s fallout.

Additionally, the Rechitsa Orphanage in Belarus has been caring for a very large population of deathly sick and deformed children. Children are 10 to 20 times more sensitive to radiation than adults.

Zhuravichi Children’s Home is another institution, among many, for the Chernobyl-stricken: “The home is hidden deep in the countryside and, even today, the majority of people in Belarus are not aware of the existence of such institutions” (Source: Chernobyl Children’s Project-UK).

One million (1,000,000) is a lot of dead people. But, how many more will die? Approximately seven million (7,000,000) people in the Chernobyl vicinity were hit with one of the most potent exposures to radiation in the history of the Atomic Age.

The exclusion zone around Chernobyl is known as “Death Valley.” It has been increased from 30 to 70 square kilometres. No humans will ever be able to live in the zone again. It is a permanent “dead zone.”

Additionally, over 25,000 died and 70,000 disabled because of exposure to extremely dangerous levels of radiation in order to help contain Chernobyl. Twenty percent of those deaths were suicides, as the slow agonizing “death march of radiation exposure” was too much to endure……..


June 15, 2019 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

The health toll of Australia’s uranium nuclear industry – theme for June19

Well -they carefully haven’t kept health records, have they?


4.1 The perception that uranium mining has not led to ill health effects in workers has been created through the lack of comprehensive studies on worker health and the failure of Governments to establish a national registry for health workers. …..

Uranium mining, however, presents unique risks over other mining operations. Because of the presence of radioactive elements, uranium miners are at risk not only of immediate health problems, but of delayed fatal effects such as cancer. There is also the potential for radiation exposure to lead to illness and defects in the offspring of uranium miners

RADIATION EXPOSURE FOR URANIUM MINERS.  The potentially serious effects of radiation on workers has been shown by previous mines in Australia. Evidence was given to the Committee that 40% of underground workers at the Radium Hill mine in South Australia have died of lung cancer [12]. Even with more recent mining operations it was clear that worker health and safety was not given the priority it deserves. On a trip to the closed Narbarlek mine, the Committee saw worker health records and files left scattered on the floor of an abandoned administrative building. When the Committee visited WMC’s Olympic Dam mine, it saw workers who were not wearing the Thermoluminescent Dial (TLD) badges which register their exposure to radiation.

Kirsten Johnson  I have a father, uncle and two aunts who all worked at Rum Jungle in the 1960’s. My father and uncle passed away in their 60’s due to lung cancer. My aunt in her 60’s due to breast cancer and my other aunt who is still with us today has also had breast cancer. Surely this cannot be a coincidence and I would like to know if there is information with regards to the health impact that the Rum Jungle uranium mine has had on past workers.

Janet Dickinson nee Litchfield  – I am Kirsten Johnson’s aunt, and sister to Judy, Peter and Kevin Litchfield who passed away with cancer. all having worked at Rum Jungle in the 50’s. My father in law also passed away in 1979, aged 70 from lung cancer, he worked at Rum Jungle for 20 years from 1958. I have just recently been diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer.

Health effects on Aboriginal people near Ranger uranium mine. 

….Since 1981, three years after mining began, at least 120 ‘mishaps’ and ‘occurrences’ — leakages, spillages of contaminated water, and breaches of regulations — have occurred. The Office of the Supervising Scientist has consistently claimed no harm to either the environment or human health — a claim difficult to substantiate. Since completion of the AIATSIS social impact monitoring report in 1984, there has been no monitoring of the social and physical impact on Aboriginal health and well-being, and no agency has specifically investigated the impacts on Aboriginal health.

Exploratory research undertaken in 2005 and 2006 has found a significant overall increase in the incidence of cancer among Aboriginal people in the Kakadu region — some ninety per cent greater than would be expected. We could not determine possible effects on maternal and child health because data on congenital malformations and stillbirths were not available. ….

June 8, 2019 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Christina themes, health, Northern Territory | Leave a comment

Australia can be a global leader on combating climate change, and rejecting nuclear – theme for May 19

Australia is now a divided society.  The Adani coal mine dispute is symbolic of this division. The majority see climate change as an urgent issue.  But others see coal mining as a lifeline for rural communities.

It is now the job of the environmental movement to explain to those communities, how clean energy is economic – provides jobs, can revitalise rural areas, can play  a role in conserving  water, and bring this society together, in positive action.

We also need to revive Australia’s role as a good global citizen.  It takes a comedian to work this out. Charlie Pickering of the ABC’s “The Weekly” pointed out that Australia emits less than 2% of global greenhouse gases.  The big emitters, like China and USA emit far more. (graph – not perfectly accurate, adjusted from Charlie Pickering’s Facebook)  )

However, the countries like Australia, that emit 2% or less of the total, together make up 41% of the global total, the largest contributor.  If these countries together took action on climate change, they  would make a major difference. But if each decides that they’re too small to matter, – the world is in trouble,

Australia used to be a leader in so many humanitarian and environmental areas.  What Australia does IS WATCHED by the world. Australia has the opportunity to act on global warming, and show itself once again to be a good global citizen. Australia needs also to retrieve its former international respectability , also by giving REAL help to Pacific Islanders, as sea levels rise.  (We also might want help from other countries when we have an environmental crisis, e.g bushfires.)

The Greens get it. Labor might get it.  The COALition have shown that their loyalty is to the fossil fuel industries, not to the Australian public.

In working to deal with the climate crisis, we must not fall prey to the blandishments of the nuclear industry. Their shills will be coming out from under their rocks, touting nuclear power as the cure.  It’s like how the tobacco lobby might recommend smoking as a cure for obesity, ( a thought first expressed by Dr Helen Caldicott)

May 25, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina themes, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Australia’s Liberal and Labor Parties on Climate Change – politics theme for May 2019

Federal Election: Whose climate change plan is better?

Shorten’s climate policy and why we don’t need to fear the Coalition’s ‘big scary numbers’   Guardian, Katharine Murphy, 2 May  2019   

Scott Morrison wants voters to think that Bill Shorten is risky and reckless …

What’s the cost of not acting?

what Labor is saying is correct. It’s factual for this reason. Labor has set out the framework of its climate policies: the emissions reduction target, which is 45% (compared to the government’s 26%), and the various policy mechanisms to deliver that result.

But there is a fair bit of fine print missing because Labor wants to consult with stakeholders on final design before attempting to legislate the policy.  …..

until we know the proportion of permits and a bunch of other things we don’t yet know – including what the Senate does to the policy if Labor wins – any number produced would be a guess. …..

Climate change costings that don’t count the cost of inaction are worthless, Guardian, Greg Jericho 5 May 19 We must demand better of our political parties – and there is no excuse for the media either,Just seven months ago the United Nations told the world that we have 12 years to limit the climate change catastrophe. It means that to keep global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels we need to cut carbon pollution by 45% by 2030 and down to zero by 2050. Twelve years. Actually scratch that – now it is 11 years.

Now ask yourself how often that has been raised during this election campaign?

At the start of the 2019 federal election campaign Scott Morrison put out a video where he was all dewy-eyed about the future, saying “the next 10 years are important to everybody at every stage of life”.

And yet not once – NOT ONCE – did he mention that the UN has given us 11 years to do something about a global catastrophe.

No, instead it’s all standard of living and nothingness statements that would get shot down by any decent advertising firm in the first meeting……..

Tony Abbott and his ilk – your time is done….

We need at a minimum a 45% reduction by 2030 and to get to zero net emission by 2050. So parties need to explain what they are going to do to get there and argue why their way is best.

If a party is not even willing to come up with such a path then do not treat them with the respect that “balance” gives them.

May 5, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina themes, climate change - global warming, election 2019 | Leave a comment

Nuclear power, climate change, and the Australian election – theme for May 19

No wonder that Australians have a poor opinion of politicians.  In the lacklustre lot that is lining up for the May 19 federal election there’s no vision- just personal sniping and seemingly endless promises of money for every local cause, (combined with promises of tax cuts).  Labor’s a bit better, as in Labor, there seems to be an understanding that taxes are necessary, if the government is to provide services.

The media can be depended on to depict this election as a personality contest, American style. So, we get Liberals’ Scott Morrison talking about climate change, to one audience, while enthusing about the coal industry, to another. Meanwhile Labor’s Bill Shorten damning Adani’s coal project to one audience, and promoting it to the coal-happy electorates.

As for nuclear power, nuclear waste, and the uranium industry it’s as if Liberal and Labor have made a pact to just not mention these issues. When pressed for answers, both mouth wishy washy statements, though Bill Shorten has been forced to aknowledge Labor’s anti-nuclear policy, and Australia’s law banning the nuclear industry.  The media collude with Liberal and Labor in keeping mum about the plan for a nuclear waste dump in rural South Australia.

The government’s Minister Against the Environment, Melissa Price, announced approval of Cameco’s Yeelirire uranium mine project in Western Australia. I bet that that the Liberals wish that had been kept quiet – one little snag, and an opportunity for Labor to play “holier than thou”


April 25, 2019 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Diseconomics of Generation IV nuclear reactors -theme for April 19

First of all, dispel the nonsense that these expensive gimmicks will solve climate change. They can’t. And even if they could, they’d be deployed far too late to make any difference.

Generation IV nuclear reactors , Thorium Molten Salt Reactors (TMSRs) , Medium and Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (MSRs)   – have only one real use – to support the nuclear weapons industry – providing it with expertise, materials, technology development and media hoohah.

The nuclear salesmen promote other lies,  as well as the climate one.  There’s the lie about solving the waste problem, and the one about safety.

But the most compelling case against Generation IV nuclear reactors is that inevitable one – COST. There’s no market for these nuclear lobby toys – no chance of commercial biability. That’s mainly because , to have any hope, they would have to be ordered en masse. – and who’s going to invest in that risky idea?

Therefore – the only possible customers are governments. Which means YOU – your taxes.

In the meantime, rapid developments in energy efficiency, renewables, and battery storage offer a genuine opportunity for investors – and they are taking it up.

April 6, 2019 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Australia and the uneconomic “new nuclear” push – theme for April 19,

The global nuclear lobby has Australia in its sights.  And they have a  faithful servant in Dr Adi Paterson and his Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation.  Never mind that Australia has laws against developing nuclear power.  Never mind that as a political ally of USA, Australia shouldn’t be partnering with China to develop nuclear reactors.  Adi’s just signed us up to do that, anyway.

Apart from the dodgy politics of this, the big problem is the DISECONOMICS of new nukes – “Generation IV ” nuclear reactors.

The global nuclear lobby, getting desperate about the increasing financial quagmire of nuclear power, is obsessed with selling nuclear reactors overseas. Russia and China, with government owned nuclear firms, offer other countries huge loans, to buy their product.  The West can’t do this, as the industry is owned by commercial firms, not by the government.

Now the push is on, to develop “new nukes” – “Generation IV nuclear reactors, – and sell them to overseas countries.  AS there’s no market for these reactors, because they’re simply not economic, then the buyer, and the funding developer, must be the government.

The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) , (? fortunately) is funded by the tax-payer, (much as they pretend to have a huge future in selling medical isotopes) .  Dr Paterson and ANSTO seem to be a law unto themselves.  Is the Australian government asleep at the wheel?

I mean – let’s pretend for a moment that ethical issues, health, safety, environment nuclear weapons proliferation,  – all those things just don’t matter.  BUT – WHAT ABOUT COSTS?  What about Australian tax-payers money being chucked out at a commercially unviable industry? Omigawd!

March 23, 2019 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Let’s explode the nuclear lobby’s lies about nuclear wastes – theme for March 19

There’s no limit to nuclear lobby lies about nuclear waste. Here are a few:

1 They say that radioactive trash is not waste – it’s a “resource”.   This lie is tied to the fantasy that nuclear reprocessing will work – using radioactive trash to produce boundless energy.  Bunkum! Apart from all its economic and safety hazards, reprocessing itself produces highly toxic long-lasting radioactive trash.

2. They say that nuclear waste is being “safely managed”.   The Fukushima nuclear wreck continues to release radioactive pollution, with its accumulating tanks of radioactive water and mountains of bags of poisoned soil.  Chernobyl is still a toxic wreck.  USA, Russia, France, UK, and every nuclear country are continually threatened by the pools of spent nuclear fuel, forever awaiting accident, terrorism, or war to release their poison to masses of people.

3. They say “We have the solution”.   They don’t.   The nuclear lobby now turns to a new lucrative industry – “interim” (i.e stranded) nuclear waste canister arrays,  underground waste dumps, both involving bribery campaigns to communities to host them, and all at tax-payers’ expense.

4 They say – “Don’t worry about it “ – we can just pollute the Earth, because the answer is to colonise space.  That too, will rely on the nuclear industry, with nuclear powered space travel and infrastructure, and of course – radioactive trash.

We must not swallow their lies. Those lies come from greed, and extraordinary arrogance.  They are part of the attitude of conquering nature –  having conquered it on Planet Earth (i.e nearly destroyed it) , humans must move on to conquer the universe.  Their ignorance is shocking. They simply do not know that humans are just one quite fragile part of nature, on an extraordinary planet which used to have the right conditions for nature. There is no Planet B.

March 21, 2019 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

The global deception that nuclear waste is ‘manageable’ – theme for March 19

We are being fed a pack of lies about the “OK” management of nuclear wastes.  They don’t really know how long the waste canisters will last, or what’s really going on inside them.

Any sensible  person would not have embarked on the nuclear reactor folly, knowing that it would produce radioactive trash toxic virtually for eternity.  That folly began with developing the atomic bomb, then moved mindlessly into commercial nuclear power.

The worthy authorities treat nuclear waste as a religious faith. Heck the USA even passed laws expressing this belief – The Nuclear Waste Confidence Rule

It is absurd for countries to keep on producing this toxic stuff, permanently poisoning the environment, with no way of getting rid of the poison.

Meanwhile, they continue to reassure us with absurdities on the “safety”of this trash, keep bribing communities to host it, keep promoting new geewhiz reactors that claim (falsely) to solve the problem.

This toxic industry, and its diabolical weapons keep going, because they make money for corporations, for investors,  provide jobs, keep political leaders in power.

But is it worth it?

March 16, 2019 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Anniversary of Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown – 11 March

There’s not a lot in the mainstream media, about this important anniversary. But much of what there is – concerns the “recovery” of the area, the Olympic Games,  the robots, the ice wall, the (forced) return of evacuees, the story that tritium contamination doesn’t really matter, does it? ……    etc etc – whitewashing the real situation. And, perhaps more importantly, encouraging the world to forget about the nuclear catastrophe.  And above all, let’s pretend that it does not have global significance.

All sorts of experts, scientists etc propound ways to fix Fukushima’s nuclear problem, get rid of the molten nuclear fuel debris, and the nearly 2 million tons and counting, of radioactive water.

I could believe in their sincerity – IF all this  concern were not linked to the promotion of the global industry. Indeed, if their concern were linked to a plan to stop producing toxic radioactive trash.

The people of Fukushima need help from the world –   but not the kind of help that teaches them, and the global community, that everything is OK really, and the nuclear industry can charge ahead.

March 9, 2019 Posted by | Christina themes, General News | 2 Comments

Nuclear lies in Australia, about radioactive trash – theme for March 19

As Australia grapples with its growing mountains of plastic, industrial. domestic garbage, the question of radioactive trash is not publicly discussed, (except for being happily promoted to small communities in South Australia, who are being bribed to accept a nuclear waste dump)

Australia’s corporate and political leaders,  the tax-payer funded nuclear agency ANSTO,and the mindless mainstream media, have been able to portray radioactive trash as something separate from the wastes problem. Good heavens! Something vaguely political, so we shouldn’t be talking about it?

But the reality is that Australia has a twofold problem with nuclear wastes deception.

The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation and a few greedy politicians and businessmen are promoting the nuclear industry, in pushing the view that in Australia  there is no  problem. ANSTO’s nuclear reactor keeps producing high level toxic wastes, while they pretend it’s a medical necessity. ( only a very small percentage of isotopes produced are used in Australia’s hospitals, and of these, only a tiny few are used to treat illness).

Their other pretense is that they actually know how to deal with nuclear waste –  it’s all solved – it’s all safe.  But, in reality they don’t know, nobody really knows, for how long ‘high’ and ‘intermediate’ level waste will be safe in Holtec’s ‘temporary’ canisters.  ‘Temporary’ means for a hundred years, perhaps more – sitting in a rural area, a (formerly) agricultural community – stuck with this poisonous stuff, which gets transported across the continent, potentially exposing many communities to radioactive danger.




February 23, 2019 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Education on nuclear matters? Don’t let the nuclear industry be in charge of this! – theme for February 19

Would you go to British Tobacco for education on how to have healthy lungs?

Would you trust the Sugar Industry for education on healthy teeth?

So why on earth are we letting the nuclear industry run the education on the most important aspects of nuclear power – the ones that affect humans, all species, and the environment?

The nuclear experts are big on their technical stuff, how to build a new reactor etc, (but very quiet on how to get rid of its radioactive trash)

But don’t let them be the education authorities on ionising radiation – a cause of cancer, birth defects, genetic effects, environmental effects.

Don’t let them be the education authorities on dealing with climate change.

Don’t let them be the education authorities on prevention of war.

Don’t let them be the education authorities on the supposed economic benefits of nuclear power.

Above all, don’t let the nuclear industry control education about HISTORY –  about the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, atomic testing, about Urals disaster 1957, Mayak, Three Mile Island, Church Rock, Chernobyl, Fukushima…….

And don’t let them get at our kids with their propaganda.

February 17, 2019 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Nuclear “education” in Australia – theme for February 2019

For public education about the nuclear industry, Australia relies on  – well – the nuclear industry. The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO)  is a government statutory body, which in 1987 grew out of The Australian Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). The AEC’s original mission was to plan for nuclear weapons for Australia, or, if that failed, at least for nuclear power. This goal of promoting nuclear power remains ANSTO’s core role

ANSTO does the nuclear education for Australians. It’s just like putting British Tobacco in charge of education about healthy lungs.

Just how does ANSTO do its “nuclear education” for Australia?, Well, broadly, by silence. Minimal information, especially about nuclear reactor dangers, transport of wastes, and about how much tax-payer funding it guzzles up. The Australian media conveniently complies with this silence.

However, when it comes to rural communities in one region of South Australia, then ANSTO is busily flooding them with “education”, because ANSTO has this dream of expanding nuclear power, and becoming a global hub for nuclear, but to do that, it has to dump the radioactive wastes somewhere, – Hawker, Kimba .. anywhere – ‘away from civilisation’.

The nuclear lobby now ‘partners’ with academia, wherever possible, and some universities are very grateful for their funding grants.  The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) partners with The University of Tasmania. South Australian top university big-wigs are nuclear industry promoters.

Then there’s the space travel hype. The great “colonise Mars” dream and all the rest of the space fever rarely mentions that the space travel rockets will be nuclear-powered – indeed, powered by plutonium, that man-made substance that is the most carcinogenic substance known. Too bad if there’s a crash.

Underlying all this is the glorification of STEM education – Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics. These ARE important studies, – but the subtext of this message is the downgrading of the arts and humanities subjects.

Technology can do things and go places. Humanities can guide us on what things we should do, and what places we should go to.


January 19, 2019 Posted by | Christina themes | 2 Comments

2019 – The challenges to address climate change and remove the nuclear threats- theme for January 19

Climate and nuclear activists have lots to do in 2019. The IPCC report emphasises the need for a complete transition to clean energy, the need for people to put real pressure on governments. This video (partially an ad for an optical company) gives a good rundown on the report and its recommendations

Why the IPCC Report is so Scary

It’s astonishing, that with the global horror of nuclear radioactive trash piling up in USA, UK, Russia, Japan…. with no solution in sight,  governments still promote the nuclear industry. And with the “Doomsday Clock” at 2 minutes to 12, it is an urgent need to stop the nuclear industry.

It’s harder for people in totalitarian countries, Russia, China, –  to learn the truth about nuclear power – its diseconomics as well as its dangers. It’s still hard for people in democratic countries to grasp the facts, as mainstream media, and even much of the alternative media, blindly swallow the propaganda lies about nuclear power being “clean” and “the solution to climate change”.

The intrinsic connection between “peaceful” nuclear power and nuclear weapons manufacture has been clearly recognised. So this now remains the main reason for governments to promote nuclear power at home, while they scramble to try to sell the uneconomic technology overseas.

As with climate change, the challenge is for people to pressure governments, and to elect candidates who are not in the pocket of the nuclear industry.

Our nuclear free moment

As with climate change, many groups and individuals around the world are spreading the word on how to counteract industry propaganda, how to resist polluting developments. They are supporting indigenous land rights, social justice issues, and networking globally to close down polluting industries, and develop clean energy and energy conservation. The U.N Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty, with 69 nations already signed up now shows that nuclear weapons are morally unacceptable, and shows the way to a nuclear weapons-free world.


January 19, 2019 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Australia 2019 – it’s time to Act on Climate Change, and for a Nuclear-Free Nation – theme for January 2019

It could be the weather – heat, bushfires, floods- or the degraded state of our one big river system – or the ever more obvious stupidity of our masters in Canberra –   but something has to wake up Australians to our climate peril.

Australia, with its relatively small population, is the “canary in the mine” for developed countries experiencing climate change. We need to:

(a) Show the world that we are part of the global co-operative effort to slow down climate change, and to adapt to its impacts. Australia must reverse its disgraceful history of subverting international action on climate change. Australia must help Pacific island nations to address sea level rise impacts, including accepting climate refugees.

(b)  Quit coal, push for energy conservation, re-afforestation, and renewable energy, with a properly developed grid, and promote electric vehicles.

As for the nuclear threat to Australia – it’s not on the public radar, thanks to the corporate-influenced media, as well as to the ignorance and subservience of Australia’s Liberal and Labor politicians. What needs to happen – an independent inquiry and plan for managing radioactive trash, the closing of the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor, (in conjunction with development of a cyclotron-based development of medical radioisotopes.) Expose and turf out those politicians who remain in the grip of the nuclear lobby – with their dream of $billions from turning Australia into the world’s nuclear garbage dump.

Labor has made a start, with its in-principle decision to join the U.N. Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty. Unfortunately, Australia is locked into the USA nuclear weapons system, with Pine Gap and other American military bases (targets) in this country.

The risk of nuclear war is now greater than ever, since World War 2. In international relations, Australia treads  a difficult path between its ties to both USA and China. Blind subservience to Donald Trump is a dangerous option.

However, the prospect of a Labor election victory quite soon means that Australia can now look forward to some intelligent and better-informed national leadership on both climate and nuclear matters.

And we have very dedicated organisations working on both of these issues. We need all Australians to join us in an allout effort for a clean energy Australia, helping the global effort to slow the pace of climate change, and intelligently addressing its effects.


January 10, 2019 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment